Rosacea Skin Care Using Essential Oils
Using essential oils for rosacea skin care can help control the redness and pimples of this skin condition. Useful essential oils include German chamomile, rosemary, and lavender.
Skin with rosacea is already sensitive, and some sources recommend using essential oil in a one percent or less dilution (that is, 1 drop of essential oil in 99 drops of carrier oil or 6 drops essential oil in 2 tablespoons carrier oil). But you can experiment, testing what works best for you without causing irritation.
Caution: Skin test both essential oils and carrier oils on a small area before using them on a large area to make sure they don’t trigger an adverse reaction. Use only genuine, authentic essential oils, as low-quality oils are more likely to cause a bad reaction or be ineffective.
Because rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition, look for essential oils that calm inflammation. According to Dr. Josh Axe (who has a long article on dealing with rosacea), essential oils found to relieve skin inflammation and nourish sensitive skin are:
- German or Roman Chamomile
- Tea tree
Axe recommends blending 3 drops of essential oil with 1/2 teaspoon of carrier oil. Apply this blend to the affected areas two or three times a day.
Note this dilution is a higher concentration than the one percent mentioned above—use your good judgement in choosing a dilution. If in doubt, start with a more diluted blend. You can always move to a higher concentration of essential oils if you’re confident it’s OK for your skin.
Other essential oils that might help include:
- Helichrysum not only helps relieve inflammation but may also help rejuvenate damaged skin.
- Neroli (also called orange blossom) may help regenerate skin cells and tone sensitive skin.
- Cistus (also known as rock rose) may help regenerate skin cells.
- Rosewood may improve skin elasticity.
Carrier Oils For Rosacea Skin Care
Commonly recommended carrier oils are sweet almond and jojoba. Other carrier oils that may help relieve rosacea include tamanu, evening primrose, and coconut. Some people find aloe vera gel works well.
Rosacea Relief Spray
Combine ingredients in a two-ounce spray bottle:
- 3 drops sandalwood essential oil
- 3 drops frankincense essential oil
- 3 drops lavender essential oil
- 2 drops helichrysum essential oil
- 1/4 cup distilled water
Shake well. Lightly mist affected areas on your face several times a day, avoiding eyes and mouth.
You can also blend a similar oil-based version:
- 20 drops sandalwood
- 20 drops frankincense
- 20 drops helichrysum
- 5 drops rosemary
Hydrosols for Rosacea
If your skin is too sensitive for even highly diluted essential oils, consider using aromatherapy hydrosols. Hydrosols are the by-product of steam distilling plant materials to make essential oils. Hydrosols are very gentle and can provide some relief.
Try one of these hydrosols: German chamomile, geranium, lavender, neroli (orange blossom), or rose. Simply splash the hydrosol on your face as a toner.
More Rosacea Skin Care Information
Don’t use alcohol or soap on skin affected by rosacea, and don’t exfoliate.
For more in-depth information, including several aromatherapy recipes, see Aromatherapy for Rosacea at the East West School for Herbal and Aromatic Studies.